Friday, September 23, 2011

8 comments TMQ: Gregg Easterbrook Has a Theory About This Explosion of Offense

Most of us recall Gregg Easterbrook being a hypocrite and criticizing someone for criticizing a television show, which is something he does week after week after week. He also pronounced the Colts dead, which still seems a bit premature to me. This week Gregg has a theory about where all this offense is coming from...naturally I think his theory is somewhat wrong. Of course we still get the criticism of science fiction shows, a few mentions of undrafted players performing well and the usual misleading statements that Gregg seems to enjoy.

Rookie quarterback Cam Newton, who came into the league regarded as a runner with a suspect arm, has thrown for 854 yards in just two games.

I'm going to stop you right there. Sometimes I wonder if Gregg pays enough attention to the NFL or he just pays attention when it suits him. There were no questions about Newton's arm. There were questions about his ability to read NFL defenses, his experience at playing quarterback, whether he could make NFL throws, and questions about his accuracy. There weren't questions about his "arm," which I take to mean arm strength, since I haven't ever heard anyone have a question about a quarterback's arm that refer to an injury or arm strength.

But because this season there is officiating emphasis on protecting receivers from helmet-to-helmet hits, and because the rules have gotten even stricture about hitting quarterbacks, there's a sense that passing yards are the result of the league babying offenses.

Which could very well be a part of the offensive explosion. The NFL has been accused of babying receivers and quarterbacks quite a few times.

ESPN columnist Michael Wilbon lays out that notion here.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback isn't ready to buy into this. Defensive backs seem to be hitting as hard as ever, though in at least some cases, finally trying to avoid the head.

As Gregg tends to do, he either (a) misses the point of the article he linked or (b) he didn't read the article he linked. Mike Wilbon wasn't saying defensive backs weren't hitting hard anymore. He was discussing the mindset of defensive players when it comes to hitting receivers and quarterbacks and how they are much more reluctant to go full out on an offensive player...not that they won't go all out anymore.

Safety Nick Collins of the Green Bay Packers was taken off the field on a stretcher after a monster hit. Cornerback Dunta Robinson of the Atlanta Falcons should have been ejected from the Atlanta-Philadelphia game for a vicious lead-with-the-helmet hit.

The purpose of the article wasn't that defensive backs don't hit hard at all anymore, it is that receivers and quarterbacks are protected by the NFL to the point a defensive back may pull up or not go after the quarterback with as much vigor. No one is saying defensive backs still don't hit hard, they just penalized for doing so.

If you need more evidence as to why defensive backs don't lay out monster hits as often anymore, what happened on these two plays that Gregg cites as evidence there hasn't been a change when it comes to hard-hitting in the secondary? Nick Collins season and career are in jeopardy because of his monster hit and Dunta Robinson got fined $40,000. So using the two pieces of evidence Gregg cites, you see the defensive backs paid for the hard-hits they laid out.

TMQ thinks the culprit in all these passing yards is blown coverages.

Yes, blown coverage is the reason for many, many touchdowns. It is part of the reason for the perceived increase in passing yards through the first two weeks of the season, but it isn't the entire reason.

Why? The missing offseason. The missing offseason is a more likely explanation for defensive mistakes than the latest set of rules tweaks.

The missing offseason did have an impact, there's no doubt about that, but it doesn't explain why offenses are magically so cohesive. There are quarterbacks who didn't get a ton of work with their receivers in the offseason, so how did they jell so quickly? Everyone's golden boy, Cam Newton, got to practice with the rest of his team in an official practice just a few months ago. Am I to believe the Packers and Cardinals secondary were confused about the coverages they were supposed to be running, but Newton was completely up-to-date and had plenty of practice time to run an offense he had never run before early August? This doesn't make sense.

If the Packers, a team that brings back nearly the same secondary that won the Super Bowl last year, don't have enough time to learn the defensive coverages in the preseason, then how the hell did Newton learn his offensive reads and where he needs to throw the ball in such a quick amount of time? Is he just that much smarter than a Packers secondary that played together all last year? Newton has more interceptions than touchdowns this year, so the Packers defense wasn't all that rusty from a lack of offseason work.

This goes for other teams as well. Yes, the rustiness on the part of defenses probably plays a part in the perceived rise in passing yards, but shouldn't the offense be rusty as well? An offense runs on timing and making sure the ball is where it needs to be at the right point. Offenses didn't have a ton of time to practice together in the preseason either.

Nobody at all was covering Jeremy Maclin on his first touchdown reception against the Falcons...Two defensive backs just watched as Devery Henderson ran deep for a 79-yard touchdown catch against the Chicago Bears.

These four teams all have the same head coach as last year, and though their defensive system has changed slightly in some cases, I just have a hard time believing the Falcons secondary is rusty while the Eagles offense is just running on all cylinders.

But usually when a receiver isn't guarded by anyone, the reason is a blown coverage. And there's been an epidemic of blown coverages in the first two weeks of NFL play.

Why? The missing offseason. The missing offseason is a more likely explanation for defensive mistakes than the latest set of rules tweaks.

Gregg sees things in black and white. He is incapable of seeing shades of gray. There is more than one explanation for the perceived explosion of passing yards. They are:

1. Rule changes that defensive players are still adjusting to which protect the receiver and quarterback.

2. The progression of offenses that spread defenses out.

3. The lack of an offseason, which should affect a defense about the same as it affects an offense in my opinion.

4. Good quarterback play and play design that finds mismatches in the secondary.

With NFL teams often fielding five or six defensive backs, and often rotating coverages in hopes of confusing quarterbacks, it can take time for a secondary to jell. Because there was no offseason, secondaries haven't yet jelled.

But somehow the offenses have jelled already? I won't argue the defenses may be a bit behind the offenses right now, but a successful passing game is dependent on timing and the receiver going to the right spot and the quarterback throwing the ball to that spot. This takes time to jell and doesn't just happen.

In football, receivers generally worry about only their own assignments. But defensive backs must worry about each other's assignments, because from snap to snap, who covers whom varies. Hours of practice are required.

What a way to simplify the receiver position as if route running, run blocking, recognizing how you are being defended, and having good timing with the quarterback just happens magically. There's a reason Peyton Manning and his receivers have such great rhythm and timing. It isn't because a passing game is easy to throw together while downing a few beers after practice. It is because hours of practice are required to have a successful passing game.

Because there was no offseason in which for secondaries to jell, the blown coverage is happening more often.

Again, I won't argue. This still doesn't explain why offenses have jelled together so quickly.

Also, lots of defensive backs changed teams in free agency, while lots were drafted.

This is probably the high point in this column of Gregg just making blanket statements and hoping they mean something.

"Lots of defensive backs changed teams in free agency, while lots were drafted."

This leads me to many questions. I guess there were no receivers that changed teams or were drafted? Were no quarterbacks drafted that didn't get to practice officially with their team until early August? I guess Andy Dalton isn't a rookie? He's on a new team in a new offense, did it just come together easily for him?

As the season progresses, pass coverages should get better and passing yards decline.

The weather will also get worse, which could make it more difficult to pass the ball. There's that too.

Then Gregg goes on about undrafted players and coaches other teams didn't want...

The head coach for Buffalo was Chan Gailey, who's been fired twice in the past five years and was OOF -- out of football -- all of 2009.

Maybe it was because he was a bland guy? That would be silly to criticize Gailey for being bland, wouldn't it?

Last week, the Bills named yet another bland guy as head coach, this time Chan Gailey.

I guess the bland guy is a smart coach now.

In other news of undrafted players, on Sunday night undrafted offensive tackle Jason Peters had a fabulous game for the Eagles, including four "syrup" blocks in which he flattened his man to the ground and then jumped atop him so the man could not get up.

Yes, Jason Peters was undrafted as a tight end coming out of college. He now has a contract for 6 years $60 million. Wouldn't that make him a highly-paid glory boy?

Perhaps you've seen the highlight of the Dallas Cowboys' Jesse Holley making his reception against San Francisco in overtime, then starting to wave the ball before reaching the end zone and nearly losing possession. Who is Holley? An undrafted wide receiver who was waived by the BC Lions of the CFL. Undrafted Holley had the game's decisive play, while Dallas' undrafted Miles Austin caught nine passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns.

On the losing side were Ted Ginn and Vernon Davis, two receivers who were high first-round draft choices.

So because there were two 1st round picks on the other team that lost, this means all 1st round picks stink? Or is it just some? Or what point are we trying to prove here? Is it just fine to ignore when these first round picks play well? I say this because Ted Ginn nearly singlehandedly won the 49ers first game of the year for them with two returns for touchdowns. Gregg would never mention this for fear someone may see he doesn't have an especially great point.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback has penned several columns over the years noting that while all men involved in professional football are showered with money, the cheerleaders are expected to train, rehearse and dance for peanuts, usually $100 per week, Here, Amanda Hess of the independent website TBD details the mistreatment of Redskins cheerleaders, in an account that could be applied to most NFL dancers.

I feel bad for the cheerleaders in that they don’t get paid very much money to dance at NFL games, but many times they are doing this for fun, not as a way of supporting themselves. Last time I checked, NFL cheerleaders aren’t forced to try out for an NFL’s cheerleading team. So while the pay stinks, it isn’t like it is their primary job.

Henderson benefitted from a blown coverages -- nickelback Major Wright just let Henderson roar past, though the man guarding the deep routes on his side was middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.

So Brian Urlacher, a veteran in the Bears defensive system, didn’t guard Henderson on the deep route because he didn’t have enough practice in the Bears defensive system in the offseason? That’s what I am supposed to believe if Gregg’s theory on the explosion of offense from the beginning of the column holds true.

Trailing 13-7, Chicago faced third-and-2 on its 27, and Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz called a pass -- not a home-run attempt but a junky little turn-out thing.

You mean a “junky little turn-out thing” which is a higher percentage pass that is designed to gain 3-5 yards? And he called this on third-and-2 in an effort to get a first down? Why would he do that?

Sweet Special Teams Play of the Week: City of Tampa trailed 17-0 at intermission at Minnesota. Scoring to pull within 17-7 in the third quarter, the visitors executed a sweet onside kick. Tampa did not score on the possession, but the play set the tone for a comeback that led to a Buccaneers' winning touchdown with 35 seconds remaining.

Of course. The way Tampa Bay played in the second half contributed to their winning the game, but mostly it was the tone set by the onside kick that won the game for them.

Sweet 'N' Sour New England-San Diego Plays No. 1: Trailing 10-7 at New England, San Diego went for it on fourth-and-goal from the Flying Elvii 1.

And let me guess, they got the touchdown and won the game easily because fortune favors the bold and going for it on fourth down told the Chargers team that Norv Turner was serious about winning so the team played better because of this?

Spoiler alert: This didn’t happen, but if it had happened then Gregg’s reasoning for the Chargers winning the game would have been entirely because the Chargers going for it on fourth down.

Sour was that San Diego did not attempt any misdirection, merely lined up in a jumbo and ran to the heavy side. On fourth-and-1 or goal-to-go situations, when defenders are cranked to charge straight ahead, a bit of misdirection is essential. Do a little dance if you want to convert that short-yardage attempt.

This is all part of what annoys me about Gregg. He calls a bit of misdirection to be essential in this situation, but when it failed for the Saints two weeks ago…

Sour for Saints' fans was a bland call from usually daring Sean Payton. The problem was that in the third quarter, facing fourth-and-inches on the Green Bay 7, Payton signaled in a complex action with two shifts, a man in motion, then a play-fake. The play didn't even come close to working.

It no longer is an essential part of the play to have some misdirection when it fails and now the shifts and man in motion are a "complex action." I thought the defense would be confused and fall for the play action because they were primed to run straight ahead?

New England was now pinned on its 1. Golly gee willikers, what might happen next? Maybe New England will line up with an empty backfield on its own 1 -- exactly what New England did in that situation in Week 1 on "Monday Night Football." Maybe New England will throw to Wes Welker -- exactly what New England did in that situation on "Monday Night Football." Pass to Welker, first down, sweet. Sour was that San Diego was surprised by exactly the tactic the entire nation just watched on Monday Night Football.

There is this thing in football called “execution.” If a team executes and blocks well for the quarterback then it doesn’t matter if the defense recognizes the tactic. Also, is Gregg that stupid he believes that all empty backfield plays from the one yard line are run the exact same way? The formation may have been familiar, but I doubt the play was.

Then Gregg starts talking about the solar system, simply because this is especially pertinent to football in his world. I got an email from reader “Frank” who made a point about this part better than I ever could. I have put his comments in italics and my comments in the regular font I use:

Last week Kepler researchers announced they had found a planet locked in a complex orbit with two stars. According to the standard understanding of astronomy, this should not be possible. The assumption has been that star systems form from swirling discs of gas and dust. If one large star forms at the center, then there is material remaining for planets to coalesce in the outer disc, as seems to have happened in our solar system. If a small star forms orbiting the central star, then there should be no material left for planets. Yet at Kepler-16b, both a small star and at least one planet formed around a large star.

This is just one of the many indicators that humanity knows hardly anything about the larger universe. If binary stars (more common than sun-like stars) can have planets, there may be a truly huge number of planets in existence. There may be star-forming and planet-making physics we haven't yet guessed at.

I'm curious what Gregg thinks is a "standard understanding of astronomy". An idiot like me with a desk job who doesn't, like, do astronomy for a living? I'm no genius but even I could have told you that this "standard understanding" is really just a projection of our own reality (one star, multiple planets) to the trillions of stars out there, a mistake no scientist would ever make (without first abandoning the scientific method entirely, at least).

I personally don’t know anything about astronomy and I would bet the standard of understanding Gregg is talking about that understanding from astronomers. But then if we don’t know much about the larger universe, then the standard understanding is deeply flawed, right? I think I confused myself.

Astronomers have been startled recently to find in what was assumed to be the interstellar void "orphan" planets that seem to have formed independent of stars. Good luck explaining that.

Again: "astronomers have been startled". According to whom...? "Good luck explaining that". Gee, Gregg, I'm sure they might have a theory or two when they understand it more. Way to take the most recent discoveries in the field of astronomy that haven't yet been explained and give the astronomers a pat on the back and a "good luck". I'm sure they appreciate that. Wonder if anyone was laughing at Einstein when he wouldn't admit his static universe theory might conflict with his own Theory of Relativity. I'm sure if Gregg was around back then, he would have said to Einstein: "Ya know Al, this brand new evidence you haven't had a chance to review indicates it's POSSIBLE that the universe may be ever-expanding! Good luck explaining that!"

It is hard to explain something when the information hasn’t had a chance to be reviewed to actually come to a good explanation for that information.

The main point is that Newton has proven he's the real deal amazingly fast. He's confident with the ball, "the game is slow" for him (meaning he perceives the field as if players were moving in slow motion)

I do hate nitpicking, believe it or not. This is actually not exactly what "the game is slow" means. “The game is slow” can also mean the information he is processing on each player isn’t coming to him in a rush and he is able to process it fast enough to make necessary adjustments. It doesn’t necessarily mean all the players are moving in slow motion, it just means he is receiving and processing the information in time to make adjustments.

TMQ continues to think that as NFL defensive coordinators accept that Newton is for real as a passer and use conventional coverages against him, his stats will taper off.

But maybe then Carolina will actually be able to run the ball, which would help them actually win football games! That would be great! I’d love for Newton to be held to 200 yards if it means Carolina is able to run the ball a little.

But modern Hollywood hates the notion that shows should be well-written. This sets the bar too high! Modern Hollywood wants to believe the television audience is composed entirely of fools.

Far be it for me to agree with Hollywood, but “Glee,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “Two and a Half Men,” (“Glee” has the absolute worst writing of any show on television. They have to distract the audience from the terribleness of the plot with songs) are still popular and on the air while “Party Down,” “Terriers,” “Rubicon,” and “The Chicago Code” were all well written and canceled. They are re-making “Charlie’s Angels” for goodness sake. Hollywood knows their audience is stupid.

Now about "Terra Nova." Even if, in the year 2149, everyone somehow forgot that dinosaurs once existed, why would the people be sent 85 million years into the past? That's an unimaginable span, about 17,000 times as long as the period between the present and the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

This is Gregg being a hypocrite and criticizing a television show for not being accurate enough. If you remember, he criticized someone last week for criticizing a fake event. Gregg is above his own rules though.

Then Gregg criticizes the show’s use of a time machine. Just shut up about it. It is supposed to be entertaining, not 100% factually accurate.

Lend Me a Tight End! Carolina, New Orleans, Detroit, Buffalo, New England and Cleveland got big catches from tight ends split wide like wide receivers. Jersey/B opened with three tight ends, which seemed to confuse hapless Jacksonville.

I don’t know where Gregg got the idea this is the first season NFL teams have used tight ends as wide receivers, but someone needs to email him ASAP that teams have been using tight ends as wide receivers for quite a few years now.

Trailing host Denver 24-22, Cincinnati faced fourth-and-1 on the Broncos' 36 with three minutes remaining. A 53-yard field goal would put the Bengals in the lead, and this is Mile High Stadium, best venue in the NFL for long kicks: Sebastian Janikowski hit from 63 yards at Mile High the previous week. Marvin Lewis decided to go for it through the air -- incompletion, ye gods.

Of the many things I find irritating about Gregg Easterbrook’s writing, I think his insistence on making set rules in situations and then ignoring his old rule when his old rule doesn't work and then creating a new rule. For example, how many times have we heard “fortune favors the bold” or that a team won a game because their coach showed the team they were going for the win by going for it on fourth down? How many times has Gregg said this? Yet, the Bengals go for it here on fourth down and Gregg criticizes them because they didn’t try for a long field goal. If they had gone for the field goal, he would have complained they didn’t go for it on fourth down. He changes his opinion based solely on the outcome on the football field.

Trailing 7-0 at Detroit, Kansas City faced fourth-and-1 on the Lions' 15. The Chiefs entered the game in a tailspin, a 2010 playoff team that had lost its past three by blowout margins. Kansas City seemed to change its psychology -- it needed to go for the first down. Instead the field goal team trotted onto the field, and TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook in the first quarter! The football gods agreed. The final: Detroit 48, Kansas City 3.

I am sure the Lions scored 41 more points because the Chiefs didn’t go for it on fourth down in the first quarter. Let me guess, the Chiefs players were so downtrodden by their coach’s lack of faith in them they couldn’t muster the energy to play defense or offense for the rest of the game?

Fourth-down attempts may fail, but it's usually better for a coach to go for it, communicating to his players that he is challenging them to win, than to act timid and kick.

From earlier in the column:

Trailing 10-7 at New England, San Diego went for it on fourth-and-goal from the Flying Elvii 1. Patriots defenders "got low" -- the football saying about line play is, low man wins -- and stuffed the Bolts' run.

Shouldn’t the Chargers have gotten the touchdown or beaten the Patriots because Norv Turner was communicating to his team he wasn’t coaching timid and was challenging them to win? That’s right though, Gregg thinks this play didn’t work because there was no misdirection on the play. Gregg has so many rules that need to be met and so many bullshit reasons for why his rules don’t work, I can’t keep up.

Game scoreless, Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh went for it on fourth-and-goal from the Seattle 1, and the rush was stuffed.

Fortune favors the bold!

But that left the Blue Men Group pinned on its own 1. Seattle ended up punting from its 3. Pittsburgh got good field position, scored on the possession and never looked back.

This is what I am talking about when I say Gregg judges what should have been done on a play AFTER the play is run. All he does is second guess a coach and then act like he knew what would happen in that situation all along and ignore situations where his rules don’t work. So it was a good thing the Steelers didn’t convert because now the Seahawks were pinned. Clearly going for it on fourth down motivated the Steelers defense to stop the Seahawks.

Hold on a second…didn’t the failed fourth-and-goal by the Chargers also pin the Patriots on the 1 yard line? It did. So wouldn’t the Chargers defense have been motivated to stop the Patriots and given the Chargers good field position when the Patriots punt? That didn’t happen and the Patriots got a first down. I thought going for it on fourth down would challenge the Chargers to win and motivate them? Gregg explains the failure to stop the Patriots by saying the Chargers should have recognized the spread-out formation the Patriots ran against the Dolphins the week before when on the one yard line…as if the Patriots ran the exact same play and merely recognizing the formation should help the Chargers stop the Patriots.

Essentially, when ignoring all these rules Gregg makes up like:

-Use misdirection on short yardage plays.

-Always go for it on fourth down and it will motivate your team in the long and short term to play better.

-If you recognize a formation then you should easily be able to stop the other team.

It simply just comes down to which teams play better no matter the rules that are made up to explain why some teams win and some don't. That’s why none of his rules are useful at all and he has to make excuses when the rules don’t work. It's because there should be no rules.

-You used misdirection and shifts on a short-yardage play and it didn’t work? It was obviously too complicated of a play.

-Your team went for it on fourth and goal and got stopped? Then the other team got a first down and you didn’t get good field position? Clearly, you should have recognized the play the opposing team would run based on the formation.

There is always a reason given by Gregg as to why his rules didn’t work. Screw all these rules, it always comes down to which football team plays better and that’s the bottom line. Gregg tries to get overly complicated in hindsight to explain what can be more easily explained. The Chiefs lost to the Lions, not because they didn’t go for it on fourth down, but because they didn’t score any points for the rest of the game and gave up 48 points. Maybe the Chiefs should have gone for it on fourth down, but it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game.

New England went for it on fourth-and-4 from midfield against San Diego, leading 20-14, and failed. As with Pittsburgh, the message from coach to players was that Bill Belichick was challenging "the fellas," as he calls his charges, to win. Shortly after the failed fourth-and-4, New England led 28-14.

Gregg needs to take a class about causation.

Single Worst Play of the Season -- So Far: Host Jersey/A leading Les Mouflons 7-6, the visitors had third-and-8 on the Giants' 25. Sam Bradford flicked what was surely drawn up as a swing pass to tailback Cadillac Williams, who rather casually dropped the rock. But Williams was standing behind Bradford when the pass was released, making it a backward pass: live ball, not an incompletion. As all nearby Jersey/A players scrambled madly, Williams, the closest Ram and a former high first-round draft choice, simply stood there, doing nothing.

This was a terrible play, but Gregg just HAD to mention Cadillac Williams was a former high first-round draft choice. He had to do this in his continuous effort to prove how terrible high draft picks can play.

Halfway into Boley's return, only Bradford and offensive tackle Rodger Saffold were giving chase.

Doesn’t Gregg mean high first-round draft choice Sam Bradford and high second-round draft choice (1st pick of the 2nd round in 2010) Roger Saffold? Of course not, that would make it look like high draft choices hustled on the play. Can't have that.

8 comments:

HH said...

the cheerleaders are expected to train, rehearse and dance for peanuts, usually $100 per week

Voluntarily. I'd pay a month's salary to line up for my favorite team in the NFL for one snap in garbage time. People do things for reasons other than money.

On fourth-and-1 or goal-to-go situations, when defenders are cranked to charge straight ahead, a bit of misdirection is essential.

Time to put this to rest. If, as Gregg says, defenders are cranked to charge straight ahead, misdirection DOESN'T MATTER. Nothing matters. The defensive line is charging straight ahead no matter what. What difference does it make if you shifted your tight end?

I think it's time to put this running item out of its misery.

Sour was that San Diego was surprised by exactly the tactic the entire nation just watched on Monday Night Football.

I was surprised, and I watch every Patriots game, because the Patriots had just run EXACTLY THE TACTIC THE ENTIRE NATION JUST WATCHED ON MNF. It's a mind game: I saw you do X, so you won't do X because you know I expect X; but I know you know I expect X, so I don't expect X, and expect Y or Z; but you know I know you know I expect X so I don't expect X and expect Y and Z, so you go back to X....etc.

New England went for it on fourth-and-4 from midfield against San Diego, leading 20-14, and failed. As with Pittsburgh, the message from coach to players was that Bill Belichick was challenging "the fellas," as he calls his charges, to win. Shortly after the failed fourth-and-4, New England led 28-14.

New England also lost its punter and Klingon warlord Zoltan Mesko to injury in the third quarter.

So San Diego should have lined up with a cornerback at each short sideline, and safeties in the end zone.

Oh yeah. Nothing better than a 30 yard gap in your defense. You're begging for a catch and run in that gap. Are you going to rely on your safeties to cover the 50 yard width of the field and stop a receiver like Welker or Hernandez, probably with a blocker?

Bill Belichick was challenging "the fellas," as he calls his charges, to win.

I watch Patriots press conferences and saw the BB documentary on the NFL network. Not once have I heard BB say "fellas." It's always "the guys" or "the players."

Disclaimer of the Week: Reader Chris Collins of Pittsburgh writes, "I work at a university. When training our staff to enforce policy, we burn a pellet that makes simulated marijuana odor. On the packet these pellets come in is printed, 'For educational purposes only.' I'm not sure what other purpose there would be, considering they are not intoxicating and would make lousy potpourri."

Well, you could release them in someone's house or dorm room and get them under police investigation. Disclaimers like this are used to show the manufacturer doesn't advocate such use and won't accept liability.

koleslaw said...

On my way to work so two quick things:

1) He's shocked and surprised that Belichick could come up with a play that confuses a defense? Has he never watched the Patriots play before?

2) OMG thank you for agreeing that "Glee" sucks! I watched it for an episode and a half due to everyone and their brother telling me it was awesome and it's so not. Jane Lynch is hilarious, everyone else is dry and completely unfunny.

"Party Down" was absolutely brilliant, I was really said (but not surprised) to see it go. Adam Scott is really good on "Parks and Rec."

How is it that Steve Carrell and Hugh Laurie can't win an Emmy, but shit like "Mike & Molly" can?

I guess it's a sign I watch too much television that I can form deep, emotional seeds of hatred for it.

rich said...

Defensive backs seem to be hitting as hard as ever, though in at least some cases, finally trying to avoid the head.

It's not the hitting, it's the constant holding and pass interference penalties that get called. If you can't cover the guy without flags being thrown, you give the offense a huge advantage.

You know what would actually explain this better? Defensive lines not being as effective due to the shortened offseason. Did you see how much time Tom Brady had against the Chargers? He could have thrown a damn BBQ back there.

Do a little dance if you want to convert that short-yardage attempt.

No, that is stupid. If you have one friggin' yard to gain, run forward and odds are you'll get it. Dancing around in the backfield just gives the defense more time to get to the backfield.

There may be star-forming and planet-making physics we haven't yet guessed at.

Other than the sun, the nearest star is over four light years away. Think about that. That star could have gone supernova three years ago and we wouldn't have any idea until next year and it's the second closest star to us So, no shit we haven't seen everything yet.

There are parts of the universe where the light hasn't even reached us yet and so there parts of the universe that exist, but we can't see until the light gets here.

Good luck explaining that.

There's about 15000 explanations that could be valid.

why would the people be sent 85 million years into the past?

I'll explain this. If you go back to the times where civilizations existed with your 22nd century technology and knowledge, you think you might screw the future up?

It's a way to a) get them in an environment they can do whatever they want with and b) not have to worry about the whole timeline corruption horseshit people like to harp on.

Oh, and dinosaurs seem like a much easier thing to deal with than say the epic amount of slavery and genocide that routinely happened in early civilizations.

Oh and here's the other thing: a lot of people who produce shows tank a couple episodes a season to save on budget to put towards the really great shows.

If you go back to an era where people existed, then you have to spend a shitton of money to hire extras, period era outfits, erect period era buildings, research into mannerisms.

You know what going back to before people were around lets them do? Whatever they want. Need a cheap episode for the awesome finale? Cut back on the CGI for an episode or two and do a character development episode.

So it actually makes perfect sense, but again, since Gregg can't be bothered to actually look into the things he's bitching about, he's wrong.

Modern Hollywood wants to believe the television audience is composed entirely of fools.

Because a lot of people are fucking retarded. A show about a bunch of drunken morons from NY is on it's fourth season (I think it's the fourth season right?) and called "Jersey Shore." Why doesn't Gregg bitch about that?

"Why is it called Jersey Shore if they're not from Jersey and they're not at the Shore. TMQ smells something amiss here."

You have shows like CSI, Law and Order and House that not only depict insane things (like the last three seasons of House - Hey lets have our main character get really jealous and crash his car into his ex-gfs house... they'll love it!).

You have shows like Survivor and Big Brother that are still on the air after a friggin' decade.

There are shows about celebrities dancing, shows about people singing, dancing or performing acts. There's a show about whether or not fully grown adults are smarter than a fifth grader.

Hell, even one of Gregg's oft talked about shows is basically a remake of Dawson's Creek with some football added in.

Bengoodfella said...

HH, I would pay a month's salary for that too. Depending on how the rest of the Panthers season goes, I may be able to line up at LB or CB.

That is a good point a/b the defense charging ahead. It's needs to go away. The d-line would then charge ahead and bust up the play in the backfield regardless of what happens b/c they are primed to go straight ahead, right?

That call on the 1 yard line is basically game theory. I just enjoy how Gregg doesn't understand the Patriots have players who could probably take advantage of that 30 yard gap. He acts like NFL players aren't elite athletes.

I'm pretty sure the smell of marijuana is cause for the police to investigate the smell if called. The company doesn't want to be liable for this.

Koleslaw, all Belichick does is confuse the other team. Gregg doesn't get this?

My wife and I did try "Glee" and we NEVER give up on a show, but we've given up on it. It's horrible and writing is the worst I have ever seen. If there were no singing, I could handle it.

I loved "Party Down" and I am so sad it is off the air. I love pretty much every actor and actress on that show. Fortunately, "Parks & Rec" is on.

I try not to get too emotional either, but even though "House" has declined in quality the fact Hugh Laurie can't win an Emmy is a bit stupid. He's the reason to watch the show and carries the entire cast.

Rich, I think Brady did throw a BBQ back there! He had all the time in the world. I agree, it is the PI called. I think maybe PI should be a 15 yard penalty and automatic first down.

It's clear Gregg hasn't played football b/c dancing around is the quickest way to take a loss. Ask Barry Sanders.

"Good luck explaining that which you haven't had time to research yet!"

I believe the lifetime of a television show tends to be around 5-6 seasons. I have to say, "House" was one of my favorite shows on television but I only watch b/c of Hugh Laurie now. I think he's brilliant even when the writing isn't.

I watch a lot of television shows and people are idiots. Seriously, "Two and a Half Men" had a huge ratings boost when Ashton Kutcher joined the cast. The same guy who was the 5th fiddle on his previous television show and is best known for marrying an older woman. Ok, maybe he's better than that. I'm still not over "Rubicon" getting canceled. I watched the first season and just said, "this is too slow and going to get canceled. The audience doesn't want to think." Then for some reason I was angry when it did get canceled.

I wish Gregg wouldn't criticize the realism of shows. They aren't realistic. We know this, that's why it is television.

JJJJShabado said...

Trailing 7-0 at Detroit, Kansas City faced fourth-and-1 on the Lions' 15. The Chiefs entered the game in a tailspin, a 2010 playoff team that had lost its past three by blowout margins. Kansas City seemed to change its psychology -- it needed to go for the first down. Instead the field goal team trotted onto the field, and TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook in the first quarter! The football gods agreed. The final: Detroit 48, Kansas City 3.

Not that you need more evidence of Easterbrook using things where convenient, in the Bills-Raiders game, the Bills kicked a field goal on 4-1 from the Oakland 7 down 14-0 towards the end of the second quarter. Oakland went down and scored right away. That's a game over situation for him. There's still a point to be made here in that the Bills could have won with a field goal instead of a touchdown at the end of the game (assuming everything plays out the same way), but no mention of the game by Easterbrook as it didn't suit his needs.

Bengoodfella said...

JJ, I bet $100 that Gregg wrote "Game Over" in his notebook after that happened. A field goal in a situation to reverse a losing mentality the Bills have had and a 14-0 deficit is something Gregg would easily criticize. Good point.

I don't need more proof of him using things like "Game Over" in his notebook when it is convenient, but that's really blatant.

Dusty said...

Not to pick nits here...but I will anyway. The Collins hit wasn't a "monster hit", as much as it was a freak occurrence. Collins went low to tackle Stewart. Stewart jumped, so Collins raised up a little and knocked his head on Stewart's leg. It didn't really even look that bad, but it must have just been the exact wrong spot.

Bengoodfella said...

Dusty, there's no problem with picking nits during an Easterbrook column. That's pretty much all I end up doing at times.

You have a good point. I was at the game and it looked like Collins got a big hit on Stewart but I didn't see a replay, so I was just basing my comment on it being a bigger hit. I guess I shouldn't have trusted Gregg to be accurate. How stupid of me.